Encouraging Your Toddler to Share
Toddlers learn by copying what you and others do. They don’t appreciate things being taken away from them. But if you teach them about the rewards of sharing, they’ll soon come to realize the benefits.
Examples You Can Use to Encourage Sharing
Sit down to eat one of their favourite fruits. Tell them you’re really looking forward to eating it and how much you expect to enjoy it. Then say you’d enjoy it so much more if you shared half of the fruit with them. Whilst you’re eating, talk to your toddler about the things you share. Then switch it around and ask your toddler to share another fruit with you. They should feel that they have been ‘rewarded’ – instead of having had something taken away. This way, your toddler will begin to understand that sharing means two people giving something to each other, something that ‘makes things better’.
The next time they’re due to play with friends, talk to your toddler about sharing toys before they get together. Remind them about the fruit and how sharing actually doubles their fun.
Get your toddler and their friends drawing with paints or crayons. Make sure no one actually owns the crayons or paints, so that they have to share. Sharing then becomes a group effort, which is positive and fun.
Families are the most influential figures in a child’s life from the very start.
Signs They’re Ready to Share
Toddlers sometimes like to show their belongings to others without letting go. This might seem like teasing or refusing to share, but in fact it’s an important step towards sharing. So do praise this behaviour and they’ll be sharing with you.